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Mission & History

Historic plaque in front of KAB

D'Youville is an institution with a rich history in higher education and a dedication to honoring our mission through every aspect of the student experience.

Our Mission Statement

D'Youville College is an independent institution of higher education that offers baccalaureate and graduate programs to students of all faiths, cultures, and backgrounds.

D’Youville College honors its Catholic heritage and the spirit of St. Marguerite d’Youville by providing academic, social, spiritual, and professional development in programs that emphasize leadership and service. D'Youville teaches students to contribute to the world community by leading compassionate, productive, and responsible lives.

Discover the History of D'Youville

Founded in 1908

The Grey Nuns founded D'Youville College in 1908 and named it for their patron Saint Marie-Marguerite d'Youville.

It was the first college in Western New York to offer baccalaureate degree programs for women.

That first semester, nine women enrolled in the school's liberal arts courses. Their classes were held in a four-story red brick academy. Today, it's known as Koessler Administration Building, the core building of D'Youville College.

D'Youville's first nine students would not recognize their Alma Mater today. But they would no doubt be proud that their college has thrived and become a leader in higher education.

moving up day 1953
Moving Up Day ceremony, 1953

The Past 100 Years

D’Youville College has experienced tremendous growth and change over the past 100 years.

1932 — D'Youville became the first college in Western New York to offer a degree in sociology.

1942 — Established the region’s first four-year nursing program, now a signature program.

1971 — Became coeducational

1980 — Introduced 5-year BS+MS degree programs

2003 — Became the first liberal arts college in NY to offer a professional doctor of chiropractic program.

2010 — School of Pharmacy Opens at D’Youville College.

D'Youville Today

Today, the college has grown to:

statue of saint marguerite d'youville
The bronze, life-size statue in front of D'Youville's KAB building honors Saint Marie-Marguerite d'Youville.

Statue of St. Marguerite d'Youville

Outside the Koessler Administration Building on the D'Youville campus sits the statue of St. Marguerite. 

About the Statue

It was commissioned by D'Youville College's Centennial Committee to honor St. Marguerite d'Youville, who founded the Grey Nuns and was canonized as the first Canadian-born saint by Pope John Paul II in 1990.

The statue shows St. Marguerite with her hand on the shoulder of a young girl, meant to symbolize her work with the poor, unwed mothers and orphans of Montreal. Included in the sculpture are a kitten (hidden) and a door key (an exact replica of the key to St. Marguerite's room in the motherhouse).

The bronze statue was completed in August of 2008 and erected on the D'Youville Campus in September of 2008.

About the Sculptor

The bronze life-size statue was sculptured and cast by Tonawanda native, David Derner, who worked on the commission over a three-year period. Derner's extensive research into the life and legacy of St. Marguerite d'Youville included studying renderings of her; interviewing people about her work; and a visit to the Grey Nun Motherhouse and museum in Montreal, Quebec.

Stone Art Memorial of Lackawanna installed the 3,000 pound Vermont granite base.